Croydon council are mourning one of its longest-serving and ‘most dedicated’ members and former Mayor of Croydon, Cllr Maggie Mansell, who has died following a short illness.
Council members and officers have paid tribute to Maggie, who was first elected to the council in 1986 and held several key cabinet and committee posts. Over the years she made a huge contribution, particularly in the arenas of health and social care.
Council leader Cllr Tony Newman said: “It is with great sadness that we receive the news of the passing of one of our most dedicated, compassionate and long-serving councillors, Maggie Mansell.
“Maggie helped thousands of people and made a real difference, particularly in the field of health. “She was campaigning right up until the end.
“We will remember her passion for equality and justice, her caring nature and her unswerving commitment to our community. “She will be sadly missed, and our thoughts are with her family.”
Born and bred in Croydon, Maggie was educated, lived and worked in the borough. She dedicated much of her life to public service, helping thousands of people across the borough.
She was following a family tradition – her father John Blackwood was a principal planning officer for Croydon in the 1950s, and was instrumental in the borough’s bid for city status in 1953.
A biomedical scientist, Maggie worked for the NHS and later as a management consultant before becoming a full-time councillor. She was awarded a Fellowship of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences in 1970; gained a BA from the Open University; MBA from Keele University in 1992, and was made a Member of the Institute of Health Management in 1993.
She was first elected to Croydon council as a Labour councillor in 1986, when she won West Thornton ward. She held that post until 1990, returning as a ward councillor for Norbury in 1994, and later Norbury and Pollards Hill, until present day.
In her time as councillor she has sat on the social services committee, and chaired the childrens sub-committee, and the environmental health and consumer services committee. She served as cabinet member for crime and public protection, and chair of the health and wellbeing board, and was instrumental in establishing the Healthy Croydon Partnership. In 2005, she became the 123rd Mayor of Croydon. Throughout her career, she also served as a governor at several Croydon schools.
At the time of her death, in addition to being an active ward councillor for Norbury and Pollards Hill, Maggie was Dementia Champion and sat on the health and wellbeing, and pension, boards.
The town hall flag is flying at half-mast in tribute to Maggie and there is a book of condolences available to sign in the town hall reception. (Source: Croydon council press release)